Why I read this book: I LOVED the first book in the series, Vivaldi in the Dark (check out my review here) and I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for Jayden and Darren in the sequel.
Blurb: Sequel to Vivaldi in the Dark
Three years after that first meeting in a theatre storeroom, Jayden Phillips and Darren Peace are separating for the first time, trading in school for the trappings of adult life. Jayden has achieved his dream of a place at Cambridge University; Darren has achieved his own of escaping the Cold War of home and tasting true independence for the first time.
A hundred miles apart and embarking on two very different paths, Jayden feels it is inevitable that time and distance will slowly pull them apart. School relationships, after all, don’t last. Darren disagrees — at first. Love is all they need, and they have weathered harder storms than chasing dreams.
That is until the separation, and the encroaching influence of Jayden’s new friends, begins to take its toll on Darren’s mental state. Alone, he descends in a rapid downward spiral that is finally arrested by one night and a drastic course of action. In the wake of a single unanswered phone call, Jayden learns that time and distance have the power to do much more than break a relationship.
The dream is over — and the reality is far, far worse.
Publication date: March 2nd 2014 by JMS Books LLC
The Devil’s Thrill Sonata was composed by Giuseppe Tartini after he woke up from a very vivid dream. He’d dreamt of the Devil, who was playing the violin and the music erupting from the strings was the most beautiful thing Tartini had ever heard. Unfortunately, as hard as he tried, the composer never managed to exactly replicate the music from his dream. The Devil’s Thrill Sonata became his masterpiece, his most famous and applauded composition. And yet, Tartini knew it was just an imitation of a wonderful dream.
This in a nutshell is what The Devil’s Thrill Sonata, the sequel to Vivaldi in the Dark, is all about – holding your dreams in your hands and watching them burn. Because no reality is ever as good as a dream, is it?
“He was firm under Jayden’s touch, hot to the finger tips and warm to the heels of his hands, and he was real. Darren wasn’t – hadn’t ever been – a dream.”
The Devil’s Thrill Sonata is set three years after Vivaldi in the Dark finished. Jayden is accepted in the University of Cambridge – his dream come true – and Darren is starting job training as a crime scene investigator in Southampton, away from his parents, away from the music he detested and… away from Jayden.
The boys are separated with hundreds of miles between them for the first time in three years.
But it’s not just the physical distance that comes between them. It’s life.
“It had been three years, and Darren believed in love. Believed in a love that had him driving nearly a hundred miles home on his own, pretending he was as cheerful as the music on the radio, pretending this separation wasn’t going to be just as difficult for him as it was for Jayden. If not worse. Darren had forgotten how to cope on his own, and part of him knew—just knew—that the next bad day was going to be more than bad, and weathering the next depression storm was going to be hard on his own, when they’d always weathered the storms together.”
Each of them has their own life now, and weaning off their co-dependent relationship puts a huge strain on them both.
Until it all becomes too much.
“He lived the Devil’s Trill Sonata. He lived it. He had imagined a beautiful future, with Jayden and his own home, with a job he loved and no trace of the classical music favoured at St. John’s. If he had ever played the violin again, it would be fun. He would have enjoyed it. It would have been like the piano: the potential, all the bloody potential…but it wasn’t. It had all been a dream. Like Tartini, he had woken from a dream and tried to replicate what he’d seen, and it had all fallen so utterly short. It had been nothing like the dream, in the end.The dream had been beautiful, and this…”
The Devil’s Trill Sonata is about love; it’s about choices, about growing up, about letting go. It’s about being courageous, being stupid, being selfish and being able to forgive all at the same time.
I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this book. It’s not an easy read, I struggled on more than one occasion because the story feels so real. I’ve grown to love those two boys and I can’t help but feel for them as if they lived right across the street from me.
Just like in Vivaldi in the Dark, there’s no sex on page, since this is a YA novel. It’s absolutely perfect this way, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean there’s no sexiness at all, though.
“The shower wasn’t really big enough, but Darren didn’t have anything acrobatic in mind anyway: he wanted this, to stand under scalding hot spray and just hang on. Jayden hugged him like he’d never let go, and swayed them to imaginary music, and Darren was content to go with the flow, stroking water off Jayden’s neck and shoulders and pressing lingering, openmouthed kisses into wet skin as Jayden played with his hair. Eventually, Jayden found his mouth again and stole what little air remained in the tiny bathroom, letting Darren relearn the shape of his tongue and teeth and jaw, massaging both hands briefly into Darren’s soaked curls before dropping one hand between them and pushing him back into the tiles.”
Matthew J. Metzger is an amazing author who has a way with words that will draw you in, lock the door and throw away the key. If you still haven’t read this series, please do. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
“He was bound to this: the swell and chorus of thirty, forty instruments in perfect harmony, and the terrible fall as the pitch plummeted. He was tied to the high, terrible shriek of lonely violins, and the deep boom of a threatening horn, like the tide rushing to claim the crying cliffs. His heart picked up, hammering in time to the crashes and bangs of waves on the shore, and his ear strained towards the low note, almost unheard under all the chaos, that whispered for calm in the eye of the storm.”
Rhapsody on a Theme (Vivaldi in the Dark #3) comes out on 18th May.